Progressive Adding Second Mass. Auto License

December 4, 2007

A second major carrier has begun making inroads to the soon-to-be-deregulated Bay State auto insurance market, although it has stopped short of saying it will sell Massachusetts personal auto policies in 2008.

The Mayfield, Ohio-based Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, has applied for a second license to sell auto insurance in Massachusetts. The company’s application is pending with the state’s Division of Insurance.

The new license application is for Progressive Direct Insurance Co., which sells online to consumers. Progressive already has one licensed auto insurer in the state, Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., which does not actually sell any personal lines auto insurance policies.

Progressive began selling commercial auto insurance in Massachusetts in January.

The application comes two weeks after another carrier, Keene, N.H.-based Peerless Insurance, announced plans to re-enter the Bay State auto market after a 20-year hiatus. Peerless is a subsidiary of Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group.

Even if its second company is licensed, Progressive has no official plan to begin selling personal lines auto insurance policies through either of its Bay State-licensed carriers, said spokeswoman Cristy Cote.

“As we’ve said before, we are very encouraged by the Commonwealth’s move toward a more competitive system and we’re continuing to analyze the new regulation to see if there’s a way we can offer our products to Massachusetts drivers and at the same time meet our profitability goals,” Cote said, adding that the company would “love to also be able to offer our private passenger auto products in Massachusetts.”

Source: Progressive

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